Kiwano or horned melon is a nutritious fruit which is well known for its horn-like spines. It is native to Sub Saharan Africa but is now grown in many regions of the world such as United States, Australia, Chile, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and New Zealand. It is known by some other names such as hedged gourd, jelly melon, melano, etc. Kiwano belongs to the cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae, and is scientifically known as “Cucumis metuliferus”. Being a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc. they provide a number of benefits. Although kiwano is good for us and provides a number of benefits, it is advisable to keep them in moderation. This is because too much of everything is bad and the same is true for kiwano. Consuming kiwano in excessive quantities is bad for us, and in this article, we will know about the major side effects of eating too many kiwanos ( Horned Melons)
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Kiwanos (Horned Melons)
(1) Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach
Eating kiwanos on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy.
This benefit of kiwanos is mainly due to the presence of dietary fibers in them. The dietary fibers present in the horned melons acts as a natural laxative which means it improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of stool from our system. This provides relief from constipation and also reduces the risk of various gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, gas, flatulence, etc.
Although dietary fibers are very beneficial for our digestive health, it is advisable to consume kiwanos in moderation. This is because over intake of dietary fibers in our system can do more harm than the good. Some common side effects of fiber overload in our system are the poor absorption of nutrients, indigestion, abdominal pain, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, etc.
Dietary fibers are also known to absorb excess water from our system. In moderation, this is good as it reduces the risk of diarrhea but consuming too many dietary fibers without drinking adequate water can lead to dehydration, and may even increase the risk of constipation and other health problems.
(2) Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad For Our Health
Horned melons are an excellent source of many antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and other antioxidantal compounds that provide a number of benefits to us.
These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage caused by the free radicals, and thus reduces the risk of various cancers. It also aids in removing toxins from our system, which in turn helps our vital organs like liver and kidneys.
Antioxidants also provide a number of other benefits such as improves cognitive function, reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, strengthens the immune system, improves cardiovascular health and so on.
Although antioxidants are great for us and provide a number of benefits, it is advisable to keep an eye on them. This is because a high intake of antioxidants in our system can do more harm than the good.
As per a research conducted by the National Cancer Institute, it was found that smokers who took beta-carotene supplements in large doses were more likely to develop lung cancer in comparison to those who didn’t. Similarly, another study conducted by the Office of the Dietary supplements found that the excessive intake of vitamin E can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
This disadvantage of kiwano is due to the fact that in excessive quantity, antioxidants not target the free radicals( and carcinogens), but also starts targeting the healthy cells around them, causes oxidative damage to them and thus increases the risk of various cancers.
(3) May Develop Allergic Reactions In Some Individuals
Kiwano is an excellent source of many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, dietary fibers, etc. and presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for us. Because of the presence of these nutrients, kiwano provides a number of health benefits and beauty benefits.
However, these benefits can’t be enjoyed by all of us.
It has been found that some individuals might be allergic to kiwanos and they should avoid consuming kiwanos at all cost. Some common allergic reactions caused by the horned melons are skin rashes, itching, swelling of mouth, tongue, lips, and face, etc.
Kiwano belongs to the cucumber family, and if you are allergic to cucumber then it is highly possible that you might be allergic to kiwano, you should proceed with caution.
(4) May Cause Hypotension
Consuming kiwanos on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for providing relief from hypertension or high blood pressure, which is a major health problem that affects millions of people around the world and is a primary cause of various cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, heart stroke, irregular heartbeat, etc.
This benefit of kiwano is mainly due to the presence of potassium in it. Potassium is a vital mineral that acts as a natural vasodilator which means it relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and thus provides relief from high blood pressure or hypertension.
Although kiwano is beneficial for regulating high blood pressure, it is advisable to eat kiwanos in moderation. This is because of the high level of potassium in our system can do more harm than good. Potassium present in the kiwano can lower our blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypotension.
Hypotension is a health condition in which our blood pressure drops below the normal level and is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, blurry vision, etc.
In addition to this, if you are suffering from high blood pressure and already taking medication for the same, then it becomes even more important to keep an eye on your horned melons consumption. This is because potassium present in the kiwano may interfere with the blood pressure medication and may worsen the situation.
(5) May Increase The Risk of Hypoglycemia
Regular and moderate intake of kiwano has been found to be very beneficial for diabetic patients and for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes.
This advantage of kiwano is mainly because of its low glycemic index. Being a low glycemic index fruit, it ensures that it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow rate and doesn’t causes a sudden spike in the blood sugar level, and thus aids in managing diabetes.
The dietary fibers present in the kiwano reduce the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream and thus helps in managing diabetes.
Although kiwanos are good for diabetic patients, it is advisable to consume them in moderation. This is because excessive intake of kiwanos can lower our blood sugar to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which our blood sugar drops down below the normal range, and is characterized by the symptoms such as excessive hunger, excessive sweating, fainting, shakiness, nausea, dryness of mouth, headache, fainting, etc.
Also, if you are a diabetic patient and already taking medication for the same, then eating too many kiwanos may interfere with diabetic medication and may worsen the situation.
(6) Eating Cranberries During Pregnancy And Nursing Stage
Pregnancy is an important stage in every woman’s life and at this stage, it becomes very important for the woman to make sure that she is eating a healthy diet. This is because what she eats and drinks not only determines her health but also the health and wellness of the fetus developing in her womb.
Kiwano is an excellent source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, dietary fibers, etc. and the presence of these compounds make them very beneficial during the pregnancy and nursing stage.
These compounds aids in providing proper nourishment to the pregnant women and the fetus developing in her, and thus aids in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Although kiwano is a safe fruit to be eaten during pregnancy, it is advisable to be on the safe side and only eat kiwanos in moderation, and after having a word with your doctor about the same.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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